Monument Valley

An MC Escher twist on puzzle games

#3 Product of the DayJune 25, 2015

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Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@dan_gray Few questions for ya! 1) Where was the idea for Monument Valley born? 2) What is the unifying characteristic of UsTwo titles? Obviously they tend to be visually interesting. Is there more to it? 3) When play testing a game like this, how do you determine when a puzzle is too easy/too challenging? 4) Any future plans for the franchise you can speak to?
Daniel GrayMaker@dan_gray · Executive Producer
@russfrushtick Great questions! Back in early 2013 and being a newly assembled team we were throwing ideas around on what our next big thing should be. Out of nowhere Ken created a piece of concept art that we stuck up on the wall in the ground floor of the ustwo studio. Anybody who came in whether they were internal or external would ask what it was, it definitely piqued peoples attention. Without this piece of art having any impossibility at this point we dedicated three weeks worth of work on a prototype, at the end of this we just knew it was something we had to make. Will come back for the other questions :)
Daniel GrayMaker@dan_gray · Executive Producer
@russfrushtick Question number 2! After Monument Valley we sat down as a team and attempted to work out exactly what made the game a huge success, after this we also creating a list of values that we believe our titles should be hitting in the future. Off the top of my head here's a few: Everything ustwo game must have or be: Artistic integrity Lasting impact Platform perfect Personal pride for the creators Elevate games as an art form Risky to make A game you can fall in love with Quality on all fronts, at no expense
Terry Xu@coolnalu · SmackHighTeam, ex. Twitter, TripAdvisor
@dan_gray @russfrushtick I just began playing this game and IMO this is how games should be done. You've certainly achieved all of your core values. In this post-Lean Method world, it's truly inspirational to see people betting on their vision, holding the initial excitement, pushing through the difficulties, and carrying out the vision into perfection.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@dan_gray I know you get this a lot but Monument Valley is gorgeous. 😍What games, art, films, or other "things" inspired the art direction if any?
Daniel GrayMaker@dan_gray · Executive Producer
@rrhoover This is something I usually leave to Ken to answer, as that first spark of an idea is so close to his heart. But on this occasion i'll take the reigns as we've worked with each other for so many hours by this point that I can invade his mind and steal the answers. The most obvious inspiration is that of M.C. Escher, that's undeniable and runs through everything we did, but we often site a wide range of things from Japanese woodblock prints to architecture from around the world. From a games point of view an experience such as Windowsill from Vectorpark was a great example of creating an experience as opposed to a game.
Daniel GrayMaker@dan_gray · Executive Producer
Hi guys, apologies a few minutes late, blame the London transport system. LET'S GO!
Paul unr Morrison@iamunr · Web Developer, Loot Market
Enjoyed this while it was part of the Project RE(D) charity event. :) Fantastic game, any stages you can get your hands on you should play.
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@iamunr Yeah, tremendous game!
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
We'll have @dan_gray from UsTwo doing an AMA about Monument Valley at 12:30PM PT today (Thursday June 25). Feel free to start asking your questions now!